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We wait for action to ignite

But for Keisuke Honda and Gelson Fernandes, the World Cup, purely in terms of football, would have been like a party that promised much but where the beer was largely flat and food bland, reports Dhiman Sarkar.

sports Updated: Jun 17, 2010 01:41 IST
Dhiman Sarkar

But for Keisuke Honda and Gelson Fernandes, the World Cup, purely in terms of football, would have been like a party that promised much but where the beer was largely flat and food bland.

Honda got Japan off to a surprise result against Cameroon, his header stunning the Indomitable Lions. This was two days after South Korea registered their first win in the finals outside home since 1986, beating the ageing Greeks 2-0. Australia were thrashed by Germany but North Korea, despite a 1-2 loss to Brazil, showed the first round has been good for Asia. It hasn’t quite been that for Africa where only Ghana managed a win.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Frank Lampard, Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery have all had a game but we are still waiting for the first goal from a free-kick. Blame it on Jabulani? Players have struggled to control the ball, far too many crosses have been wayward and free-kicks have been largely innocuous.

Siphiwe Tshabalala started the competition with a screamer and Messi really dazzled as did Wesley Sneijder and Maicon but Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Kaka and Diego Forlan had ordinary starts. Robert Green’s howler showed that England can still make a mess of things despite Geoff Hurst saying they “are in the easy half of the draw.”

Except for Germany’s thrashing of Australia, 2-0 has been the highest score in 16 matches do far. Six of them ended in draws, the ones between France and Uruguay and Ivory Coast and Portugal without any goals.

The vuvuzelas scream at you from everywhere and at all times, Patrice Evra even saying it is disrupting his sleep. Fans in bright colours, bizarre headgear and outsized specatacle rims, without which the local fan isn’t a finished article, singing, dancing and waving flags have braved the chill to have a blast. One which striking stewards and security fears couldn’t dampen. And just when it was getting all too predictable, Spainwere grounded the mother of all upsets.